‘Writer baton’ is a project whereby photo-writers from each of the 7 prefectures that surround the Seto Inland Sea send each other their particular prefecture’s specialties.
Maki Ohashi from Ehime prefecture sent a parcel to the Fujimoto household in Yamaguchi prefecture. In the attached letter she wrote, “I couldn’t decide at first, but I think this is it after all”. That’s right, when talking about Ehime, mandarins are definitely a hot topic! To think that Ohashi-san went straight to the point, she must be feeling quite confident…
Without pondering the point too long, my mandarin loving wife hastily broke the seal. What lay inside was 3 different types of mandarins: Dekopon, and most likely the hybrid varieties Kiyomi and Harumi. And finally a jam named Kashi 28-Go (a name that reminds me of a robot in a Japanese comic called Tetsujin 28-go).
We peeled the skin to reveal the juicy fruit – they were perfectly ripe, just right for eating.
I stuffed a piece in my mouth and… oh dear, it was “So sweet!”
We can eat the Dekopon without peeling the thin inner skin, right? It’s so “Juicy!!”
So anyway, as it seemed the most appropriate for daifuku, we chose the slightly sharp Harumi.
As it was our first attempt, I wondered if we could do it right!
They were actually quite easy to make – we finished in no time!
As it seemed that they’d probably be better when cool, we put them in the refrigerator for the night.
The next morning I woke up, opened the fridge door and there were the daifuku right in front of my eyes. Before I knew it, I’d taken a bite.
“Th-this is delicious!”
The sun had just risen, and I was moved all alone in the dim kitchen.
Finally, it’s teatime.
The bursting Ehime mandarins work shockingly well with the slightly sweet bean paste. And they go just great with freshly brewed coffee!
We enjoyed the jam with bread and yoghurt – it’s smooth and fruity, a delicacy.
Kashi 28-go is the official name for Ehime’s original Madonna mandarin variety. Apparently its characteristics include the fruit flesh being a nearly jellylike texture.
All out of mandarins, and satisfied♪ Thank you for the treat, Ms. Ohashi!
Next up is Mr. Matsuoka from Hyogo prefecture. Well then, what should we send him??
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masashi Fujimoto
Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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